Describing her business as a personal calling is Gail Lohmann, owner/director of the home-care agency Visiting Angels in Cameron Park. The company provides caregiving to seniors and adults so they can remain in their homes.
Lohmann said her staff of 60 can offer a variety of services to homebound clients including bathing assistance, medication reminders, errand running, shopping or light housekeeping, meal preparation, live-in care, respite care, transportation or just friendly companionship.
“We do all levels of care, including working with hospice, so it’s beyond cooking, cleaning, and taking people on errands,” Lohmann said. “That’s what I love about this business. It’s helping people enjoy their time at home and extending it. That’s where companies like mine come in. When I was doing meals on wheels and doing things for my church, my goal was to help people enjoy their time at home because so many of them are isolated. We walk into a lot of situations where we’re the only people they are seeing.”
Besides working with the elderly, the company also works with adults who may be homebound with injuries or debilitating diseases. Such care can be limited to just a few hours a week all the was up to 24/7.
In business five years with her husband, Lohmann said her experience in the field comes from spending 12 years working for the Sacramento Nursing Home Association and later consulting for another Nursing Home Association.
But choosing in-home care as a business was also personal. “I have a vested interest,” she said. “It fit well with my personal beliefs and where I wanted to be — helping people stay in their homes. It’s a service and a calling. A business that supports our family and makes me feel good about what I do.
“So many times a family will call and say, ‘Why did we wait for so long? Your staff are really angels. What a difference it made to have somebody coming in there.’ They can tell just from an emotional standpoint and even from how alert their family member is,” she continued. “It also takes pressure off the family. Most of the calls we get are from women who are overwhelmed because they are caring for their own families, have a job, and on top of that, are caring for their own parents. So we do a lot of phone counseling and discuss care options with clients.”
Lohmann said what separates Visiting Angels from other agencies is the effort they make to keep families involved, doing regular client visits and being available after hours and on weekends. They also carefully match clients to the staff. “We take a lot of time figuring out the right person, the right skill set and the right personality,” she said. “Our goal is to find someone you really like so don’t have to go through changing caregivers.”
Involved in the community, Lohmann says she does a great deal of community service including sponsoring senior activities and making presentations on what options are open to people and their families. “We like to let people know that there are companies out there that help people stay in their homes,” she said.
Visiting Angels is located at 3350 Country Club Drive, Suite 101, in Cameron Park. They can be contacted at 530-677-4400, 916-424-4400 or at [email protected]. For more information visit visitingangels.com.